Uber rival Bolt will deliver food to your door via self-driving robots

Bolt is set to launch food delivery via robot in partnership with the robotics firm Starship Technologies.


Estonian ride-hailing firm Bolt says it will begin delivering food to people’s doors from a fleet of self-driving robots through a partnership with robotics firm Starship Technologies.

The company said it would start offering online food deliveries in its home city of Tallinn later this year in an initial rollout of Starship’s robots, which are roughly the size of a suitcase. 

“We are focused on providing well-rounded solutions to help make local transportation as sustainable as possible,” Markus Villig, founder and CEO of Bolt, said in a statement Wednesday.

“Starship offers a smart and much-loved service that has proven itself over the past five years and we’re excited to introduce this service to more people.”

Bolt, one of Europe’s most highly valued tech companies with a valuation of $8.4 billion, made a name for itself challenging Uber in the U.S. ride-hailing giant’s key international markets, particularly the U.K.

The company has since expanded into several other lines of business, including online food and grocery delivery and e-scooters.

Founded in 2013 and formerly known as Taxify, Bolt has around 100 million customers in 45 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Bolt has raised more than $2 billion in funding to date from investors including Sequoia, World Bank unit IFC, and the European Investment Bank.

How it will work

Just like ordering food online from apps in the typical way, Bolt’s Starship partnership will allow users to get their food delivered from robots at the tap of a button.

Once the robot arrives at your door, you’ll be able to press a button that opens it up and receive your meals or groceries.

Wednesday’s news marks a major milestone in reaching commercial deployment of the technology at scale.

Bolt plans to start deliveries in Tallinn in the coming months and then roll the robots out to further markets at a later point in time.

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